When people travel to new places around the world, they go to discover extraordinary sights, to encounter new cultures, to meet interesting people and to gain a greater insight into a world that exists beyond their own lives.
Travelling could help you become more independent, more self-confident and more aware of the important things in life. It's easy to get sucked into the comfort of your daily routine - earning money, doing housework, looking after your family, going to the gym, shopping, watching TV, worrying about what you look like and all the other pressures of modern life. But sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself - are these things truly making me happy? Am I really making the most of my skills, my talents and my potential? Or do I just put up with mediocrity because I feel like I have no choice?
A life coaching session will give you the opportunity to talk about the idea of travel, whilst encouraging you to think of ways to make it happen. Discussing your options, goals and potential obstacles with a life coach could provide you with the motivation and confidence you need to finally put those plans in place and go.
Should I go travelling?
Do you have the urge to go somewhere new and do something different? To try new things and experience the unexpected? To shake up your old routine and escape an unsatisfying lifestyle? Travel can open up a world of possibilities and help you to see the world and your own life with new eyes.
A travel adventure can seem like an exciting prospect at any stage of life. You don't have to be on your University gap year to pack a bag and jet off to a foreign country - travel adventures can happen at any age if you want them to. You might be thinking of:
- volunteering for a charity abroad
- buying a holiday home
- seeking a brand new adventure
- moving permanently to a new country.
Even if your ideal travels seem like a distant and unrealistic dream, discussing them with a life coach can help them to seem more real, and make them more attainable. A life coach will encourage you right from the start - whether that means starting a plan to open a savings account for future travel funds, outlining a budget for the next year, or helping you set aside time to research volunteer programmes, holiday homes, or places you want to visit. Unfortunately, certain responsibilities and obligations can make foreign travel difficult. If you have a job, bills to pay, a family to feed, or friends who depend on you to be around, then upping and leaving life for weeks, months or even years on end can be tricky. You have to be prepared for things to go wrong, for plans to fall through and for people to be upset by your decision to go away. If you do have a lot at stake, you will need to be extra stringent in your plan-making.
A life coach will be able to help you make key decisions in the planning process by encouraging you to think about what it is you want to achieve, how you think you can get there, and how these actions might affect other areas of your life. A life coach will provide an impartial, balanced and sensible voice of reason so that you can make the decision with the best possible outcome.
Benefits of travel
The benefits of travel are infinite. Not only does travel give you the opportunity to see some of the world's most inspiring sights, cultures and perspectives, it also allows you to develop a new level of skill, wisdom and knowledge that could add value to your life and contribute to your personal development.
1. Enjoy yourself
One of the main appeals of global travel is of course that rush of awe and excitement that comes with seeing incredible things. The world is breath-taking in its diversity and beauty, packed with so many places to discover and explore, offering a much-needed dose of stimulation for those bored of the daily grind.
During your travels you will learn things about yourself. Sometimes when you find yourself in a new situation and have no choice but to deal with it using your own initiative, you discover a new side to your character that you'd never had the chance to really explore before. In your routine at home it can be easy to slip into the role you're familiar with - whether that be the 'shy employee', the 'strict parent', the 'lazy younger sibling', or the 'bubbly friend' - whatever role you've taken in your social circle, it can be refreshing to break apart from it once in a while. It's important to remember what you are capable of as an individual.
3. Personal development
Travelling can help you develop a stronger sense of independence and self-sufficiency - especially if you travel solo, which gives you valuable time for introspection. Travelling with friends will help you build a sense of cameraderie and companionship. Spending so much time together under potentially stressful conditions will test your communication and negotiation skills and hopefully help you to develop a stronger friendship.
As for self-sufficiency - there's nothing quite like knowing you have everything you need for survival on your own back, with the freedom to go anywhere you want and do anything you choose. It's very rare to have that amount of freedom and control in everyday life, so to get a taste of that on your travels can be liberating.
The knowledge and perspective you gain from stepping out of your comfort zone and into the unknown will stay with you long after your travels come to an end. Sometimes trivial problems might develop in your life just because you've become too involved to step back and see the bigger picture. When you're standing on the edge of a mountain in Asia, swimming beside a 40ft whale shark off the Australian coast, or sitting on a beach watching the sun rise over a glowing Indian ocean, those family arguments, work stresses and love-life dramas that once kept you up all night can suddenly seem a bit trivial. Once you get home, your new perspective could help you to resolve those problems and make a new start with fresh vigour.
It can be daunting to travel to a foreign country inhabited by people who don't even speak your language. However, it's these challenges that help you to build a greater sense of self-confidence. Life at home can be cushy. We fall into our comfort zones and let the world rush by knowing that if anything goes wrong, there are people around to help.
Once you realise that you can get along perfectly well in a country far from home, without help from your support network, without even vaguely familiar surroundings to comfort you, then you will see the great things you are capable of achieving.
Downsides of travel
Although travel is an excellent way to get to know yourself and escape the limitations of your daily routine, you should also always consider the downsides.
1. Making sacrifices
When you choose to go away for long periods of time, chances are you will be sacrificing something for your decision. Before you make your decision to go, ask yourself this: 'what am I leaving behind?'
Your life coach will help you think about what you might lose by going away, including:
- Your relationship - have you thought about how your partner might feel once you've gone? Have you thought about why you don't mind leaving them for such a long period of time? Are you prepared to tackle the usual problems couples face when they live apart, such as jealousy, paranoia, and arguments about when you'll see each other next?
- Your job - it's not uncommon for people to hand in their notice in favour of travelling. Although it can feel liberating initially, it's important to think carefully about whether you can afford to give up a regular pay packet, and whether you will be able to find another job once you've had enough of travelling. If you are planning to move somewhere permanently, you will need to ensure you have enough money to see you through your time in your new home.
- Special moments - when you go travelling you must be prepared to miss friends' birthdays, family gatherings, weddings and other big, important events.
- Your child - parents who leave their young children to go abroad must be prepared to miss out on important developmental milestones, such as first words, first steps, the first day at school and so on. Although having a child does not necessarily mean you should forgo every travelling opportunity that comes your way, you will probably worry about how far your decision will impact your child. Discussing your predicament with a life coach could help you come to a balanced decision.
Although most people go travelling because they're looking for something (adventure, confidence, enjoyment...), some go because they are hiding from something. Drifting from coast to coast for years on end with no real direction or desire to settle down can be a sign of serial avoidance. Some people live a life of perpetual movement to avoid the following:
- Responsibility - travelling is the perfect 'Peter Pan' existence: you never really have to grow up. You can stay in hostels, drink with strangers and be a different person every day if you want. Life is just you and your backpack - no need for an alarm clock, no bills, no desk job. You're in control of what you do and when you do it, with very few responsibilities to make you feel anxious and trapped.
- Commitment - if the phrases '12 month gym membership', 'mortgage' and 'phone contract' make you feel queasy, then it might be because you have a problem with commitment. Travelling is the perfect way to avoid making any commitments. Even the friendships you make on your travels are relaxed and fleeting. You can spend a whole evening getting to know a group of people, before leaving in the morning and never seeing them again. Solo travelling means you rarely have to answer to anybody but yourself.
- The past - we all make mistakes in life. Some people choose to deal with them head on, others choose to pack up and leave them behind. Travelling offers some people a perfect way to avoid the consequences of their actions.
Using travel as an avoidance tactic can only work for so long. If you think you are tempted by the idea of travel because you're hiding from something, talking with a life coach could help you put these anxieties to bed before you go - so you can be sure you're leaving for the right reasons.
Another downside to travelling - especially solo travelling - is the feeling of loneliness and isolation that can occasionally settle in. Being thousands of miles away from the people you love can be quite upsetting sometimes, especially when you know there's a big event happening at home that you should be at. Although hostels tend to offer a great social atmosphere, the friendships you make there usually last no longer than a few nights. Eventually, you might get bored of making effort with people you know you'll never see again. Sometimes travelling away from home can help you realise just how important real social engagement is, and how much you miss the company of your good friends and family.
A life coach will help you to think about what you want to get out of your travels so that you can make the most of your time away without making too many sacrifices back at home. With a life coach on board, you can be assured that all the right measures are in place before you embark on that trip of a lifetime.